Demonetisation: BJP says good for economy now, but had opposed in 2014
India's ruling Bhartiya Janata Party's president Amit Shah on Friday launched a counter-attack on the opposition asking them to clarify whether they are for or against demonisation, saying that he questioned the political leaders’ commitment to do the same. He asked the opposition to clarify whether they were "for or against black money and terror funded by fake notes". Shah specifically called out Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, saying, “Arvind Kejriwal, make clear whether you support weeding out black money.”
Attacking the West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, who called the demonetisation “draconian”, the BJP president said, “I know Mamata Banerjee opposed the move, but politicians shouldn’t join ranks of black marketeers, drug dealers who are upset.”
However, contrary to this position, back in 2014, when the Congress led-United Progressive Alliance government had called in for demonetisation of currency notes issued before 2005, BJP had called it an"anti-poor" move which would badly affect the illiterate and poor living in remote areas of the country.
"The latest gimmick of the finance ministry to demonetise the notes, printed before 2005, is an attempt to obfuscate the issue of black money stashed outside the country... This measure is strongly anti-poor. The 'aam aurats' and the 'aadmis' - those who are illiterate and have no access to banking facilities will be the ones to be hit by such diversionary measures,"BJP spokesperson Meenakshi Lekhi had told the media in 2014.
65 per cent of people in India do not have bank accounts and are living in remote areas, they store their money in cash, she had said.
“ They will fall victim to middlemen who will scare them that the notes are worthless and charge them hefty fees to convert them. They will also be ripped off by shopkeepers," the BJP leader had claimed.
Lekhi had went on to accuse the UPA government of not being in a position to measure the correct quantum of black money as those possessing it would convert them into new currency notes.
"This policy of Mr P Chidambaram is only meant for the blue blood and not for the sweating, red-blooded, toiling millions. It is not going to affect those who have numbered accounts in Swiss accounts, but will hit those who do not have any bank account even in India.", she had said.
The step is not going to affect those who have their savings in US dollars and other foreign currencies, but those who have saved in rupees, Lekhi had said.
It is certain that in times to come, as the debate unfolds further, BJP will have a tough time in responding to those Indians who have been drastically hit by the move as alleged by the opposition parties.